Virginia Mechanic's Lien by a General Contractor
In Virginia, a lien claimant may make a claim for a mechanic's lien by completing and recording a "Memorandum for Mechanic's Lien" document. There are separate versions of the Memorandum depending on whether the claimant is a contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor.
In general, a mechanic's lien claim becomes available when a property owner or other person in the chain has not paid the contractor or others owed payment. The lien works as a security device by placing an encumbrance on the property, which in turn prompts the property's owner to pay in order to remove the lien. Liens can also be sought against payment funds, for example, by preventing a contractor from being paid by the owner until the subcontractors are paid.
A general contractor must file a memorandum of lien at any time after the work is commenced or material furnished, but not later than 90 days from the last day of the month in which he last performs labor or furnishes material, and no later than 90 days from the time the project is completed or the work ends. Va. Code 43-4. The memorandum is then filed in the clerk's office in the county or city in which the building, structure or railroad, or any part thereof is located. Id.
The memorandum must show: (1) the name of the owner of the property, (2) the claimant of the lien, (3) the amount and consideration of the claim, (4) the time or times when the claim is or will be due and payable, (5) a verification by the oath of the claimant, or his agent, including a statement declaring his intention to claim the benefit of the lien, and (6) a brief description of the property. Id. In addition, it contains the claimant's license or certificate number issued by the Board for Contractors, if any, and the date such license or certificate was issued as well as the date such license or certificate expires. Id.
A general contractor lien claimant must include a certification of mailing of a copy of the memorandum of lien to the property owner at the owner's last known address, when recording the memorandum of lien. Id. The verification must be completed and signed while in the presence of a licensed notary.
In conclusion, a mechanic's lien is a powerful tool when used properly. By keeping track of key dates and parties in each construction job, contractors can protect their rights.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Please contact an attorney with any questions about filing a Memorandum for a Mechanic's Lien in Virginia.
Deeds.com Virginia General Contractor Memorandum for Mechanics Lien Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Monday December 2, 2019
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